Heading to ICE, iGB is preparing you for the biggest trade show of 2024 with this new series covering the latest developments since the 2023 show.
The status of the esports market is likely to be a key topic of conversation at ICE 2024, and while in many ways it has lost the momentum of its recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic, LatAm is a region that continues to see positive esports -Growth recorded.
Brazil, the continent’s most populous country, ranks highest in potential forecasts, with Mexico also expected to be a large contributor to revenues expected to reach up to $300 million across the continent by 2027.
Esports giants like Unikrn, Stake and Rivalry are all making moves in the region, and Latin America appears to be on its way to becoming one of the dominant global esports markets as competition increases.
This is supported by the emergence of leading Latin American organizations such as FURIA and MIBR from Brazil, all of which have the potential to make this one of the most exciting opportunities in esports worldwide.
Unikrn live in Brazil
After esports betting platform Unikrn was acquired by Entain in October 2021, the brand was relaunched in December 2022.
After securing market entry in Brazil, Unikrn is now active in the country. Managing Director Justin Dellario looks forward to maximizing the region’s enormous potential.
“E-sports betting is pretty big in Brazil,” Dellario said in an interview with iGB. “And in Canada, a place where we currently operate.”
Dellario also explained that Unikrn is looking to expand into new markets, but “only if we have confidence that we can operate locally, sustainably and in a way that is safe for customers.”
In February, Unikrn announced a new partnership with esports organization Team Liquid in Brazil. The move allowed both Unikrn and Team Liquid to increase their presence in Brazil.
This was one of several deals Unikrn completed in 2023, and also agreed a global esports partnership with esports entertainment company Blast in March.
Another strategic step was Unikrn’s partnership with the e-sports platform Gamers Club, which offers individual odds for Gamers Club players.
However, Unikrn suffered a setback in October when Entain announced that it would be reducing B2C activities within its Unikrn esports betting division.
The rivalry’s growing Latin American interest
The provider Rivalry, which specializes in e-sports betting, was one of the success stories of e-sports in 2023. Expected to be an important part of the ICE 2024 esports conferenceRivalry exceeded sales expectations for the year.
Rivalry reported record third-quarter revenue of $8.7 million, up 22.5% year-over-year. Revenues of $29.2 million generated in the first nine months of 2023 also represented a year-over-year increase of 69.8%.
The 2023 rivalry made waves in the Brazilian market with a marketing campaign in October featuring esports influencer Gustavo “Baiano” Gomes. Rivalry planned to expand its engagement with esports fans in Brazil.
This comes after Rivalry secured an exclusive partnership with Tribo, a Brazilian CS:GO content group, another attempt to expand its presence in the country.
Obstacles to e-sports growth in Latin America
While LatAm is certainly a region that is experiencing impressive esports growth, the market still faces numerous hurdles to further expansion.
One of them is regulation, as Argentina, the third most populous country in Latin America, is currently not subject to any regulation when it comes to esports.
Technology is also proving to be a problem, with Uplatform marketing director Maria Bashkevich pointing out the level of infrastructure in certain regions in an interview with iGB.
“The technical infrastructure varies not only from country to country, but even within a country,” explained Bashkewitsch. “For example in Brazil, where North and South are completely different in terms of smartphone acceptance. “The same applies to payment solutions, as local payment methods are a must for the region. Only thorough research will help operators exploit the region’s undoubtedly enormous potential.”